Amanda Aldinger for Second City Style Magazine
Fashion designer Roland Mouret recently traveled to Chicago’s Neiman Marcus to celebrate the arrival of his SS/11 collection. Sitting down with Pret Reporteur Amanda Aldinger, he discusses the gentleness of menswear, the tenacity of the American woman and the opening of his first flagship in London.
SCS: I was wondering if you could talk a little bit about your inspiration for this collection.
RM: As a designer you have to project yourself one year in advance. And we’re going through such uncertain times in social politics that it’s quite weird for a designer [to determine] what a woman is going to want to wear next year. My way to face that is to be even bolder and to be even straighter about what my vision is. To be positive with it, and to say “Okay. If it has to be a collection, I want it even more pure, more minimalist, more straight to the point.” And that’s how I approached this collection. It’s that kind of attitude. It’s trying to get rid of the frills and just going to the point.
SCS: You’re just getting into menswear now, too.
SCS: I’m interested in knowing what you like about designing for the different genders, and what kinds of challenges are presented.
RM: You know, for me, fashion is a language without words. And sometimes, a woman will wear something and her father will say “What are you wearing?! I don’t get it … the shoes, I don’t like.” And other times, a man will say, “Wow.” He will have this sparkle in his eyes like he just discovered you and has never met you before, and often, that’s the beauty of clothes. Clothes are like food, you know. A good dinner by yourself is a good dinner. A good dinner with someone you like, it becomes an amazing moment and you cherish that. My way to approach menswear is in that relationship, with the man wearing clothes because he’s got a woman in his life. How can you dress a man so that women find him sexy? It’s something about privacy. You know, it’s not this kind of sexy like “Oh, it’s a Chippendale.” It’s about the little things. It’s the touch of the fabric. It’s subtle details that you feel. That’s why I wanted to do menswear. And I thought menswear would be just a business. It’s as emotional as womenswear. Even more, because men are shy creatures, and they’re really proud. You have to allow them to learn their own rhythm and for them to absorb it like if it was natural and from thereafter you create a step forward, which with women it’s totally the opposite. Women are willing to change everything in six months. With the men, you have to be more gentle. That’s why my creativity when doing this work would be based more on these emotions then about the outfit by itself.
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